2016 Riponian Forest Stages Rally – Gallery

by Nick Smith

Ahead of the first round of the MSA British Rally Championship in Wales next weekend, our GT and Endurance photographer Nick Smith headed out into the forests around Sutton Bank for the Riponian Forest Stages Rally. Restricted to public areas, he was challenged to bring back a gallery of impressive photos from behind the fence. Here are 23 of his best photos from the day.

The beauty of a 'proper' rally is that you can see the cars on the public roads too.
One of the more surprising entries was this 1.4l Ford Ka.
Peter Stephenson was contemplative after completing the rally in an ex-WRC Ford Focus.
This Q plated Porsche Boxter was very impressive, though it probably started life as a road car.
Just in case things go wrong, a helping hand for the marshals.
SG Petch were not only major supporters of the rally but fielded several cars, including this imaculate Evo.
A 2.0 Volkswagen Polo proved to be a weapon in the forests taking ninth overall.
While very popular, the Mk1 and Mk2 Escorts lacked the control of more modern machines.
Another beautifully turned out Escort which carried Charlie Taylor and Alan Ward to second in class.
One of two Cortinas on the rally, this beautiful example was the only one to make it to the end.
It wouldn't be a rally without at least one Peugeot and this 205 GTi held up the Lion's honor.
Three Proton Satrias contested the rally including this one which looks to be ex-ERC.
The Ford Fiesta R5+ doesn't fit with international regulations but was built for National rallies. The 30bhp advantage didn't get Stephen Petch past third on the podium though.
The ultimate rally winners, this S2000 Fiesta was very impressive.
Safety was a primary concern and like on all rallies, the 000, 00 and 0 cars cleared the route ahead of the competitors.
A beautiful Mk1 Escort looks good but has challenging handling.
One of the few cars not to make it full distance on the rally, the 0 car returned to Rally HQ on a flat bed.
James Hall considers the result in his Proton Compact, third in class B.
Another capture from a road section, cars are bound by the laws of the road between the stages.
Visibility from spectator areas was poor.
Rear drive historics made for impressive going away photos.
Fresh from the stand at the AUTOSPORT Show, the Laser Tools backed Escort looked and sounded great.
The next UK rally should also see a healthy dose of Fords. The BRC gets underway in Wales next weekend.

Nick’s next challenge will be the Mid Wales Stages Rally which opens the British Rally Championship.

All photographs on this page are credit Nick Smith at The Image Team.

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